Assistant Professor, English
I’m an interdisciplinary writing teacher with a specialty in Comparative Literatures, North American diasporic, Irish and Indigenous literatures, as well as a background in cultural anthropology, ethnography and journalism. I came to Yukon University from Thompson Rivers University where I worked on the small Williams Lake campus, primarily with learners from local Secwepemc, Xat’súll and Tsilhqot’in communities. Previously I taught in the Department of Comparative Studies at The Ohio State University and at the University of Wyoming, where I spent multiple summers teaching and advising in a preparation program for first-generation university students from rural and Indigenous backgrounds.
I teach Composition, Literature, Environmental Humanities and a number of second level English courses. I worked with students, elders and the wider campus community to design a new Indigenous Literature course for Yukon University. ENGL230 “Indigenous Narratives” takes a multi-textual approach to story telling – the students explored ways to forefront dignity and respect in the study of Indigenous literary texts, and to connect the curriculum with their local Yukon First Nations cultures, languages and concerns. I have also designed and taught 200-level courses on Ecological Literatures and Environmental Perspectives, with specific attention to our Northern context. I run a course on ‘The North in Literature’ using distance technology and have been working to offer more English electives remotely to improve access for online learners in smaller Yukon communities. This has included a successful series of ‘virtual student exchanges’ with a university in Mexico as well as flexible delivery of most of our English offerings.
As a researcher in the USA I worked on issues surrounding urban policy and homelessness. During 2013-14 while based in an emergency shelter in Colorado, I undertook an ethnographic study investigating attitudes towards mobility and housing loss and the ways in which cultural stereotypes of homelessness influence urban policy. Nowadays, I am most engaged by the scholarship of teaching and learning, especially questions of curriculum design in remote and Indigenous education settings.
I am a keen backcountry skier, avalanche skills instructor and volunteer ski patroller at Mt. Sima, Whitehorse’s local ski hill. I am currently Vice President of the Yukon Avalanche Association and a member of the Canadian Avalanche Association. I’m interested in ways in which social science and humanities research is shaping conversations around risk management and ‘human factors’ in mountain environments, and I’d like to conduct research in this area in the future.
I hold a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, Masters degrees from the University of Wyoming and the University of Sheffield, and earned my BA at the University of East Anglia and University of New Mexico.
My family and I have lived in Whitehorse on the territories of the Ta’an Kwäch’än Council and Kwanlin Dün First Nation since 2018.